Nearly 40 years after her death, an Oregon woman has been identified as a victim of the ‘Happy Face Killer’ serial killer.

(Fb Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office)

Almost 40 years have passed since the death of Patricia Skipa mother from the state of Oregon, in the United States, whose body was found on the side of a highway in California, to be identify his murderer: it is Keith Jesperson, nicknamed “Happy face killer” (assassin with the happy face), who has confessed to having committed more than 150 murders, of which only eight have been proven, with this one.

The June 3, 1994, A trucker found the body of Patricia, who was about 45 years old, on the side of California State Route 152, near Gilroy, south of San Francisco. It was later confirmed that she had been strangled. However, all these years she had only been identified as “Blue Pacheco”, which has to do with the color of the clothes with which she was found.

Thus, as announced by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office (California) through its Facebook account, it was until last week that the woman was finally identified. thanks to a genetic genealogy program called DNA Doe Project, an American non-profit organization made up of volunteers in 2017 in order to identify people with forensic genealogy to people who were fatally injured in automobile accidents, homicides and unusual circumstances.

Keith Jessperson, the
Keith Jesperson, the “happy face killer” (Twitter)

Patricia’s is one of the many cases that date back decades and are still pending resolution, which are beginning to be clarified with this technique that combines DNA analysis, genealogical detective work and ancestry databases.

Originally from Canada, Keith Jesperson is a serial killer nicknamed the “happy face killer” because he drew happy faces on all of his victims. He had an almost established pattern to murder them: he tortured them, raped them and killed them, almost all of them in the cargo truck that he was driving.

“In 1994, an Oregon newspaper published a five-part series ‘The Happy Face Serial Killer.’ An anonymous letter writer claimed to have committed five murders all over the West Coast. Four of the five cases remained unsolved. The person behind the anonymous letter writing was later identified as suspect Keith Hunter Jesperson, also known as the ‘Smiley Face Killer,’ who signed his anonymous letters with a smiley face symbol,” the message reads. Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office Facebook.

It would have been in 2006 that Keith confessed to Skiple’s murder in July 2006. At some point he would have confessed that his homicides numbered 160. However, it has only been proven that he killed seven other women over five years in six US states, during the 1990s, for which he is currently serving four consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole in Oregon.

“In 2006, Jesperson sent a letter to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office admitting to sexually assaulting and murdering an unknown woman along a dirt bypass on Highway 152,” the authority added.

It was in 2019 that detectives from that office requested the help of the DNA program to identify the body of the group to help identify his body, the department said. Until April 13, Skiple, known as Patsy, was identified as a mother from Colton, Oregon, a rural community southeast of Portland, the sheriff’s office said.

“Although this criminal case was adjudicated, detectives never gave up as they worked diligently throughout this investigation to bring closure to Patricia Skiple’s family,” the statement from authorities said.


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